Judy L. Mandel is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, Replacement Child –a memoir, [Seal Press, Perseus, 2013). Her essays, articles and short stories have appeared in Kveller.com, 34th Parallel, The Tishman Review, Connecticut LIFE, ASJA Monthly, Complete Wellbeing Magazine, Connecticut Authors and Publishers Magazine, The Southampton Review, American Writers Review and other publications.
Judy is a former reporter and marketing executive and holds an MFA from Southampton Stony Brook University. After the death of her parents, she knew that it was time to write the story of her family; their emotional and physical survival of a devastating plane crash that killed an older sister and left a remaining sister critically burned and close to death. Replacement Child was the story that her parents and sister had unknowingly prepared her to write, through letters and news clips, pointing her to clues of their inner lives.
Replacement Child was the #1 Memoir in Amazon, won an IPPY award, a Writer’s Digest Award, and was named Book-of-the-Month by the Jewish Book Club. Judy gives readings at colleges, libraries, synagogues and attends both in-person and virtual book club meetings. There was much media coverage about Judy and the book in local and national media, as well as in the UK.
Judy has recently finished writing her second book, WHITE FLAG, an investigative memoir, which is both reflective and personal, centered on her niece’s struggle with an addiction to opiates and her eventual death from an overdose. It follows one girl/woman’s path through the opioid epidemic as Purdue Pharma flooded communities with opioids, as the President called for cracking down on those with substance use disorder instead of funding rehabilitation, and as the prison system failed her.
WHITE FLAGis related to her first book, Replacement Child, as she becomes aware of the tentacles of transgenerational trauma stemming from the family tragedy—the plane crash in 1952. WHITE FLAG uses this personal story, juxtaposed with intensive research into the nature of addiction, epigenetics, transgenerational trauma and brain chemistry to find some answers to the questions every relative of someone who has died of an overdose asks—what happened, why her, what could I have done to save her?